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United Thank Offering Announces Care of Creation Grant Awards

The Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast to receive UTO Grant to respond to Environmental Justice Issues

St. Francis Episcopal Church of Gulf Breeze, Fl April 27, 2022 United Thank Offering announced the grant recipients for the 2022 granting cycle, and we are excited to share that the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast will receive funding for Seniors Saving the Earth. The focus of the granting process this year was "Care of Creation: Turning love into action by caring for God’s creation to protect the most vulnerable who will bear the largest burden of pollution and climate change through justice, advocacy, environmental reparations, or the development of formational materials."

Seniors Saving the Earth

With this award, St. Francis will hire two interns to coordinate volunteer opportunities between seniors and organizations focused on caring for the earth. The plan is to partner with these environmental groups that will present their program at the Senior Center and then interested seniors would then be matched for volunteer work.

“Caring for God's creation is one of humanity's first tasks according to Genesis, and we have done a pretty poor job of it so far. UTO's 2022 grant recipients will play a great role in remedying that situation through the ministries they develop and disseminate to encourage greater participation in creation care. As always, if we’d had more money to grant, we would have been delighted to fund more of the excellent grant projects submitted, so please continue to be thankful and make your thank offerings to UTO,” shared Sherri Dietrich, UTO Board President.

Environmental Reparation is addressed in the project. Seniors would volunteer with non-profits and government agencies working on environmental issues. Some research of local groups that have been contacted includes Ocean Hour, Florida Archeology Network, Audubon Society, Master Gardeners, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Gulf Island National Seashore, Sustainable Climate Environment Advocate and Navarre Sea Turtle Conservation Center. The responses from agencies have all been positive and they are excited to partner. The interns will contact these organizations to schedule visits and present an overview of their agency at the Senior Center. The interns will also coordinate seniors with groups that interest them. Seniors will do a presentation on their work. Some of the work seniors will do include helping with beach cleanup, volunteering to work in the offices and letter writing. Some work will be in advocacy.

United Thank Offering Funding

Every penny given to the United Thank Offering is given away the following year to support innovative mission and ministry in the Episcopal Church. Through the gratitude and generosity of those who contributed through Blue Box donations, UTO awarded over one million in grants to address environmental issues.

The United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Through UTO, individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude. UTO encourages people to notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings, and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box. UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute 100% of what is collected to support innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

For more information on UTO, contact:

The Rev. Canon Heather Melton

Staff Officer, The United Thank Offering



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